What is Evergreen Content?

evergreen-contentDo you know what evergreen content is?

It has become a common expression between bloggers and online marketers.

And it plays a fundamental role in almost every successful blog.

What is Evergreen Content?

In the botany world, “evergreen” refers to a plant that has leaves in all four season, thus it is always green. The most well known evergreens are conifers (e.g. hemlock, blue spruce, and pine trees).

In the blogging world, evergreen content refers to an article or blog post that remains current over a period of months or years.

This long term content is the foundation of most authority blogs.

The 2 Types of Content

While there are endless ways to create a post, there are only two types of content:

  1. Evergreen Content: Perennial content that does not frequently change. Examples of evergreen content include: Why I Write Granular (One Topic) Posts, Affiliate Marketing Basics, and 73 Blog Post Ideas. These are point-of-view and how-to guides that won’t change over the next few years.
  2. News Content: Often more in demand at the moment it’ published, it quickly looses it’s appeal as new material comes to update it. Examples of news posts include: product reviews, announcements and celeb gossip. Think original iPhone reviews and the Facebook IPO Announcement. No one is searching these topics anymore and no one is interested to read this old news.

How to Create Evergreen Content (more below image)

evergreen-content

How to Create Evergreen Content

The best evergreen content is a post that answers a specific question.

Top news stories are searched/read a lot during the first few days. After a week or two interest is starting to dry up. After a few months, no one wants to read about that “old news” and the post is dead.

Many blogs establish a balance between these long term, evergreen posts and seasonal, short term content. Every industry has news and announcements. But just because it happens in your niche, doesn’t mean you should blog about it.

How We Handle News on Our Blogs

When we started blogging, we wrote about everything: news, tutorials, announcements and random mind farts. While we have always tried to publish granular posts, we haven’t always had a clear direction about the type of content to publish.

Since then, we’ve learned to be more careful about the content we publish on our site. We want our sites to become useful, authority resources that are continually growing. We found that news stories just took away from that. Despite the date stamp on each post, many readers were confused about when the story happened.

I recently went back into the archives of our travel blog and deleted a few dozen posts. While they felt right at the time, in retrospect they didn’t add to our base of useful content – so we deleted them. Another 15+ posts needed to be updated to remain current.

But how do we handle news? Instead of blogging about it, we post it on our social media channels. Social media is the perfect platform for sharing news. There is an instant reach and the old posts just disappear.

  • Our Blog: Generally evergreen content that remains current for a long time.
  • Social media: News and general announcements. Anything that would be out-of-context to a new blog reader. We have also used our email list to share news and announcements.

Remember: Old news posts can frustrate a reader. For example: Imagine the excitement of your reader as the see a post about a contest. They click on it, begin reading it and then notice that it closed last month (or 3 years ago). If you are going to publish news on your site (and not delete it once it expires) be sure to publish an update at the top of the post advising that it has expired/closed or been updated (with a link to the new post).

5 Evergreen Content Creation Tips:

  1. Try to answer a common question.
  2. Don’t write about news or events.
  3. Don’t review technology (unless, of course, that is your niche).
  4. Determine how to handle outdated posts (delete them or publish updates).
  5. Use social media and email lists to send out short term news and annoucements.

What do you write primarily: news or evergreen content?

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{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Charles CM Bannister November 16, 2014, 1:52 am

    I came to read your slant on evergreen subjects. our evergreen subjects are largely on our wiki, but even our more topical subject get traffic for a considerable time as we here are afflicted by an over abundance of blogs where misinformation is often the order of the day and facts about important matters are discarded in favor what should be rather than what is. I haven’t monetised this site at all but intend to spin off a site, which will hopefully earn a refular income by mid next year. So your other ideas have grabbed me and I have signed up for your newsletter. Love the idea of using social media sites for more fleeting news and will be implementing this for sure. Thanks

    Reply
    • Bryan Haines November 20, 2014, 5:44 pm

      Thanks Charles – can’t wait to see how you monetize your new site!

      Reply
  • Jay Lickus July 18, 2014, 8:58 pm

    Bryan, another great article as usual and it’s even cooler that it is recycled from last year….still news and still relevant.

    I have to ask…is there any future in Cuenca for a dedicated blogger who targets the
    Baby Boomer demographic?

    Thanks, Jay

    Reply
  • David October 9, 2013, 2:00 am

    Hey Bryan,
    Thank you so much for the information on this site! I’m just getting started blogging and I’m sure I will be referring back frequently. I have one main question that i can’t seem to find an answer to anywhere though. If I am an expat with a US citizenship living abroad (South Korea), can I legally earn money from a blog and have it linked to a US account, and if so what are the legal details that need to be taken care of? Does the blog need to be registered as a business?
    Thanks for the help!
    David

    Reply
    • Bryan Haines October 14, 2013, 3:56 pm

      I don’t know the rules for the US or for South Korea. We have a Canadian registered business that we use to run our blog-based business. Because of a tax treaty between Canada and Ecuador we don’t have to claim our income here in Ecuador. I think if you are working online you should be able to justify claiming your income in the US and paying taxes there. I think you can probably claim income as an individual but we use a registered business to make things cleaner and more professional.

      Reply
  • John September 25, 2013, 12:26 pm

    Hi Bryan, I subscribed to your newsletter already. I have been waiting for you to send me info on how to generate passive income so my wife and I can move to Quito. My wife is from Quito but we have not been able to go back to visit for 9 years. our finances are very tight.
    We have 3 kids, ages 19,17,8 all girls. The older girls are my stepdaughters and also from Quito.
    Are you making money online over there or do you draw a paycheck from some employer?
    I will keep in touch with you, looking forward to hearing about your income sources..
    Thanks buddy….
    John Anderson
    503 780-6915
    Oregon

    Reply
    • Bryan Haines September 25, 2013, 12:55 pm

      Hey John, we only work online. We are not employees – although I do work as an contract journalist for About.com. Here is a breakdown of how we earn our living abroad.

      Here is a breakdown of how we earn with our travel blog. This blog is going to keep growing and become a resource on how to earn online – with a blog as the foundation.

      Reply
  • Annette September 25, 2013, 11:51 am

    Really good tip – I really enjoy your blog and eventually I will get around to creating my own with some of your terrific advice thanks Annette

    Reply
    • Bryan Haines September 25, 2013, 11:57 am

      Thanks so much Annette! Can’t wait to see it!

      Reply

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Who is Blogger Abroad?

I'm Bryan Haines, a Canadian living in Cuenca, Ecuador with my wife and daughter. I write about how to generate passive income with your online business while traveling or living abroad.

If this is your first visit, start here. If you are planning a trip or move abroad (but aren't filthy rich) you're in the right place. On Blogger Abroad, I provide the resources and motivation needed to start and grow a successful online business. - Bryan Haines

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